Watch Dr. Sylvia Gearing describe the three C's of psychological resilience - click here.
Why do some people sail through adversity while other people fall apart at the drop of a hat?
Why do some of us remain happy despite repeated setbacks and losses? Several decades ago, psychologists began to research these questions hoping to not only define the personality characteristics behind psychological resilience but to teach others how to easily weather the ups and downs of life.
Their research concluded that psychological resilience could be summarized in three central attitudes, or “the three C’s”:
We establish our belief in ourselves and in our purpose by remaining steadfastly committed to a cause, to a philosophy, or to a larger identity. Working for a greater purpose in our lives, whether it’s rocking your baby to sleep or working on the cure for cancer, can create a sense of stability and purpose that helps in healing anxiety.
Anxious people try to control everything and everyone in their lives. If they cannot control you, they may try to dump you instead. Resilient people are assertive but leave room for you to be your own person. They focus on what they can control and disregard what they cannot change. They don’t sweat the small stuff, and they stay anchored in the moment and less reactive to life’s frustrations.
Resilient people view change as an opportunity instead of a burden. While change can leave a lot of uncertainty and room for anxiety, they look for ways to turn it to their advantage. They choose to engage life with joy and creativity. In the end, this belief system fortifies their hope and optimism that the best is yet to come.
"Resilience at Work: How to Succeed No Matter What Life Throws at You" by Salvatore Maddi, Ph.D.
"The Hardy Executive: Health Under Stress" by Salvatore Maddi, Ph.D. and Suzanne Kobasa, Ph.D.